Why I emphasize history in many of my blog pieces is because history is the backdrop for virtually every specialist and their specialization. Any specialist or specialization will be able to attest to this fact.
Aside from putting on a generalist hat for the purposes of this blog, my specialty is in foreign policy as well as international relations. To a certain extent, foreign policy and international relations are interchangeable, but not fully. And as mentioned on a number of occasions, the ‘balance of power’ principle as well as international rules and norms are the two core elements of international relations and international relations theory.
But as mentioned before, history is also a matter of interpretation. Power and law – which are the two core elements of international relations – are also a matter of interpretation. Thus, when a historian or specialist interprets history in order to arrive at an analysis or conclusion on matters pertaining to international affairs or international relations, a historian and specialist must also be very careful and prudent as to which facts they choose for their analysis and conclusions. Why care and prudence are crucial in the selection of facts is because facts serve as the evidence or material for not only our analysis and conclusions, but also because facts serve as the evidence and material to corroborate our notion of reality. In essence, reality is the whole, and facts are the parts. And reality amounts to the totality of all things which exist, based on certain assessments and definitions.
Thus, no matter how empirical our approach is to a particular observation or inquiry or study, there will always be a phenomenological element or essence to our empirical presentation of reality. What matters is the viability of that phenomenological element or essence. Overall, empiricism consists of three basic elements. For one, empiricism includes taking into account one’s ‘epistemological status,’ in the sense that our ability to determine truth from falsehood comes under question by those around us. Second, there is the issue of the scope of one’s research. Personally, I tried to broaden the scope of my research for this blog to the best of my abilities. Finally, there is our ‘ultimate source.’ Without an ultimate source or faith in one’s ultimate source, the entire empirical project falls to the ground.
Also, both the empirical and phenomenological approach requires de-conditioning and the reversal of brainwashing. Both conditioning and brainwashing did considerable damage to my ability to function as a student. Thus, when I entered into an ‘individuation process’ after finishing grad school in August 2013, a major part of the painful and torturous ‘individuation process’ was both de-conditioning and reversing the brainwashing which occurred as a result of my environment and the mainstream media.
All of these matters – namely, power, law, and history – are quite complex and touchy, and delving into these matters in such a public manner entails taking on immense risk. However, as with anything in life, risk is involved in any given situation. But as my Mexican economics professor in grad school told us – and ironically, the two professors I learned and applied the best lessons from ended up giving me the worst grades – high ‘risk’ means high ‘reward.’